What is a letter of intent and how to write it?



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A letter of intent is a written document that outlines the agreement between the two parties before formalizing the legal agreement. Such letters are used in various situations. For example, a tenant and landlord can sign the letter of intent once they have mutually agreed on the regulations and terms of tenancy.

In the context of a job application, a letter of intent expresses your interest in the particular company or organization. You can submit a letter of interest even if there are no job openings that match your skills. This type of letter focuses on how you can contribute to the company rather than relevant experience and skills. Keep reading to find out how to write an effective letter of intent.

How to write a letter of intent?

The structure of the letter of intent is similar to that of a cover letter, but there are differences in content you will need to include. Here is how to craft a letter that will attract the attention of potential employers:

Research the organization

Before you start writing the letter, do your homework and research the target company or organization. What is their mission and values? What makes the company unique? What is their corporate culture and the most successful recent projects? Study their website, social media, reporting, and news to answer these questions.

Think about their current challenges and goals to better understand how you can be valuable to the organization. Pay attention to their tone of voice – if the company uses formal language in all communications, adjust your language accordingly.

Show what you can contribute

In the first paragraph of your letter, express your interest in joining the organization. Be very specific about why they will benefit from hiring you. For example, if you want to work as their social media manager and you see that their current SMM strategy could be improved, share your ideas about how you would increase the company’s visibility across multiple channels.

All companies value highly motivated candidates. Even if there are no open jobs at the moment, if you are persuasive enough, there is every chance that they will contact you once the job opening appears, or even create a job for you.

Highlight relevant skills and competencies

Briefly outline your relevant experience, successes, and education. Since it is not a cover letter, you needn’t be very detailed about them. Two or three sentences describing where you previously worked and your key responsibilities/achievements would be enough.

Use a professional structure

Make sure that your letter is easy to read and logically structured. Here are the main sections that your letter should have:

  • A professional salutation
  • Introductory paragraph explaining the reason why you are writing to them
  • Body paragraphs (2-3 are usually enough)
  • Conclusion and call to action
  • Professional signoff.

Keep it brief

Ideally, you should keep your letter between 3 and 5 paragraphs. Remember that the company probably has no open jobs for candidates with your skills, so they are not ready to read lengthy letters. Be brief and up to the point. Describe what skills you have and how the organization will benefit from having you onboard.

Proofread before sending

Your letter of intent should make the perfect impression in seconds. Don’t let mistakes, typos, or poor grammar ruin that impression. Proofread your letter carefully before sending it to avoid occasional mistakes.

Example of a letter of intent


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